To all of my ether friends, I’m in the middle of something pretty big so while the posts probably won’t slow too much, my ability to get around to reading your posts might have to take a back seat for a minute. I just opened a new company today, something that’s been in the works for over a year now. I can’t really write about it yet because I’m dealing with Trademarks, a new website, domain name (just secured today) and a bunch of other stuff – in addition to being (thankfully) busy at my day job as well.
It’s going to be an interesting summer to say the least.
I promise, as soon as everything is done, legal and protected you will be the first to read about it.
Ah, that magical cure for obesity – take this pill, undergo this surgery, stick to this diet… First of all, I say whatever works. I used running, cycling and diet. I have friends who have gone the surgery route and it worked quite well for them. Magic pills? Well, I’ve never met anyone who those have worked for so I’ll just say I’m a skeptic.
That said, most anyone who has a major life issue to fix wants the “easiest, softest way”. Anything from recovery from alcoholism (as in my case) to losing weight (also in my case) to climbing out of debt. Whatever the issue, once we realize it’s time to change, we just want to be better – preferably with as little work as possible.
Sadly (or not), this is not “Blow smoke in the direction of one’s buttocks” day at Fit Recovery so I’ll skip right to the goods: The easiest way is the hard way.
This is how it works, or at least how it did with me and virtually every other recovering person I’ve ever met: We start off easy, seeking the path of least resistance that actually bears results. If the results aren’t apparent, we either quit or immerse ourselves in whatever lifestyle change a little deeper, waiting to see if there are any results. Again, at this point we either quit or tack on just a few more changes. Rinse and repeat.
The problem with this approach is that there are simply too many opportunities to get frustrated and quit. A habit takes two weeks to 90 days to form, depending on who you talk to (at least as far as I’ve read). If I’m changing the habits ever month or two, it makes sense that getting into a groove would be exceptionally difficult. To compound the trouble, when we’re talking about something like weight loss through exercise, your body probably won’t let you dive right in with both feet. A proper regimen must be worked up to.
The fact that I’m a cycling nut aside, riding a bike has been the most enjoyable way I’ve found to lose weight and stay in exceptional shape… and it is done from the seated position. Also, recovery time, the time it takes for the muscles to recover from one bike ride till the next, is minimal (a fraction of the time it takes to recover from jogging in my experience). In addition, riding with enough effort, one can expect to burn upwards of 1,000 calories an hour (though 500-750 would probably be closer to an “average”).
Alas, as is a popular theme on my blog, cycling is not the best way to get in shape. The best way is whatever an individual will stick with. That said, cycling is exceptionally easy to stick with for several reasons including scenery, speed and the “kid factor”. The one thing that I enjoy most about riding my bikes, whether it’s a quick trip up to the market to pick up some burger for tacos, a full century ride or playing in the dirt on my mountain bike, nothing takes me back to the freedom and sheer joy of being a kid like riding a bike.
To wrap this up, many claim that cycling is too expensive – I hear that a lot. And from one point of view, it is: From the short-term perspective. Let’s say we’re starting with a sedentary you and you invest $1,000 into a bike and gear ($500 for the bike and $500 for shorts, a bike carrier for your car, etc.). It’s a well-known fact that fit people live longer, more fulfilled and productive lives. There are so many studies out there that show this unequivocally that I won’t bother pointing them out – call it accepted science (chuckle). So, how much value do you place on three more years of productivity? How much is it worth to look forward to the wind in your hair on a daily basis? How much do you place on promotions at work, simply because you’re a happier, more productive you? How much value do you place on getting to see the grandkids graduate?
A thousand bucks is nothing when weighed against the benefits.
Just make sure and follow the rules of the road so you can live to cash that in and remember: Everything worthwhile comes with a little bit of risk. Even wasting away on the couch.